CONVERSATIONS WITH A GLITCH ART OG

Trippy visuals, main characters, and unfathomable data-bending techniques are signatures of Jon Cates’ work. From growing up in the broken heartlands of the USA to residing in the concrete jungle of Taiwan, he pioneers a new wave of digital art. Regarded by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as an ‘internationally recognized founder in the field of Glitch art,’ if there were a Mount Rushmore of glitch artists, Jon would be one of the first faces to be immortalized in stone.

Jon’s artworks feature clear, concise, and nonlinear interactive glitch storytelling. He can extract techno-social aspects and blend them with bright and beautiful hues that cross over the possibilities of digital art. Just take a look at Jon’s ‘Ancient East’ and ‘American West’ collection, which imagines how the past exists in the present. His inspiration? “I try to stay present in these moments of dynamic change, traveling when and where the techno-social territories transform.”

Alongside his thought-provoking yet head-scratching art is a band of creatives putting glitch art on the map. ITΞRATION’s art changes my perceptions of the world every time she drops a new project,” he says. “I admire the way that she introduces new visions and reconfigures what we thought we knew. And Haze Long makes beautiful work that thoroughly crosses over the possibilities of digital art with aesthetics inherited from traditional physical forms of painting. I admire her ability to bring these worlds together seamlessly.”

Focusing on developers that made it all possible, Jon points to Netochka Nezvanova. “She created new artware solutions that enabled artists and musicians to perform real-time audio-video that we would now simply call glitch art,” he explains.

Before entering the world of NFTs, Jon was already at the heart of all things glitch art; but a transition to web3 seemed inevitable. “When I was just watching the NFT space develop, I was in my neighboring communities of glitch art. NFTs and I drew closer and closer together until I felt I was already here in the NFT space before I even began minting or collecting.”

Since entering the blockchain, he has never looked back. “Being together in the NFT space has literally changed my life for the better because of my connections with folks who come together as a community in the NFT space.”

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